2016 Digital Money Trends Report: What We Learned About Technology

by Jordan Lavin December 19, 2016 / No Comments

Last week we released the 2016 Digital Money Trends Report. It’s a look at how Canadians are using technology to manage their personal finances, covering mortgages, credit cards, savings and more. Over the last seven days we’ve been presenting our findings, and this is our last writeup for the blog. Here’s what we learned about how Canadians are using financial technology (fintech):

Online banking is the favourite

When we asked Canadians which technologies they like best, online banking won the day. People of all ages told us they use and trust online banking. Seventy-seven percent said they use online banking. And when asked to rate their level of trust in online banking out of five, 87% ranked it a “four” or higher. The level of engagement with online banking was consistent across pretty much all demographics, except in one area. Our research found millennials aged 18-34 are far more likely than any other group to access online banking using their mobile device. Just 51% of generation Xers (ages 35-54) and 22% of boomers boomers (55+) use their smartphone for online banking.

Trust in new technology is growing (slowly)

We measured a number of different fintech products on the same scale of 1-5, and found that nothing else came close to online banking. Mobile and contactless payments earned 44% and 39%, respectively, on the trust-o-meter (that’s survey respondents ranking their level of trust a “four” or higher). Peer-to-peer payments – apps that let you send money to a friend digitally – scored a 16%. And robo-advisors – services that automatically make adjustments to your investment portfolio based on pre-determined criteria – scored an 11%.

People are going online to find information about financial products

You might have read our stats from Google about the numbers of searches for various keywords. When it comes to mortgages, Canadians search related keywords over 750,000 times a month. For credit cards, it’s over 935,000. Based on this information alone, it’s no surprise that 73% of millennials and generation Xers use comparison websites (making them the most common source of information). We also learned that 71% of Canadians look at online reviews before purchasing a new financial product.

What’s interesting though is the second-most used source of information for different generations. Millennials are next-most likely to go to family or friends. Boomers are next-most likely to go to the financial institution they use most. This suggests that millennials are seeking advice on financial products from their boomer parents, who are in turn seeking advice from the bank. This creates a game of broken telephone, but it also means young people might be getting information that’s biased or outdated.

These stats are just a few highlights of what can be found in the 2016 Digital Money Trends Report. You can read the report in its entirety here, or read more about our findings on the RateHub blog.